Smoked Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Basil, Coconut & Galangal Soup

Poached chicken, coconut & galingal soup (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photo from Farang by Kaleem Hyder

I have just spent the weekend in sunny Birmingham at the BBC Good Food Show cooking with the Thai Embassy on the Thai World Stage to help promote Thai produce and cuisine. I’ve never been to Birmingham before, although I have to say it felt like more like Kingston, Jamaica at 34 degrees- it’s been an absolute scorcher!

The show was a good crack actually, apart from it taking place at the NEC in Birmingham which has to be one of the most boring places on the planet- it reminded me of the film ‘The Truman Show’, where you feel you will walk through a door and hit a cardboard cut out of another door if you’re not careful. All the same the show was great and I’ve come back excited to get another recipe up on ‘Articuleat‘.

In this heat I wanted to cook something quick, effortless, light and tasty as fuck so I went for this soup. This soup can be made in many different variations, a few of which can be found in my book ‘Cook Thai‘ if you ever feel like giving them a go. It only takes a few bits and pieces and around 10-15 minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found easily in most supermarkets these days. If you’re feeling really exotic throw in some king prawns to this soup too- awesome!

Ingredients Serves 2 / Vegetarian option

1 chicken breast, skin and fat removed, sliced into rough 2cm by 2cm pieces, directions for smoking in recipe  (do not use if vegetarian, ha)

1/4 butternut squash, roughly 50g, peeled and sliced into rough 2cm by 2 cm pieces (pumpkin can be used instead)

8 Thai Shallots, peeled and slightly bruised in a pestle

2 green birds eye chillies, bruised in a pestle

2 kaffir lime leaves, torn slightly

2 sticks lemongrass, chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

10g, galangal, peeled and chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

2 coriander roots, cleaned, washed and bruised in a pestle

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (soy sauce if vegetarian)

200ml chicken stock (vegetable stock if vegetarian)

300ml coconut cream

10g, Thai sweet basil (normal basil will do)

50g, assorted wild mushrooms (I use enoki, shittaki and emoji mushrooms)

1 lime, juiced

Method

Before I get started with the recipe I’ll delve a little into explaining how to smoke the chicken. In this recipe I cold smoke my chicken which can be done very easily when you’re at home. This means that I will be adding the smoke flavour from the wood to the meat, without cooking it. All you need is some smoking wood chips, a pan, a colander and some cling film. Place a small handful of wood chips into the pan and heat the pan up until the wood chips set alight within the pan. Once this happens put the flames out with a little water, this will cause the chips to smoke heavily. at this stage place the chicken in the colander and then put the colander upon the smoking pan, then quickly cling film the whole thing so it is air tight with no smoke leaving the cling film. This will leave the chicken inside a smoke vacuum, with minimal oxygen so the wood chips will not be hot but will smoke a lot. If this is left untouched for 20 minutes the smokey flavour would have penetrated the meat, the longer you leave it the smokier the flavour.

Firstly, in a small sauce pan bring a little water to the boil and then submerge the squash into it, then turn down to a simmer, continue to gently cook for around 3-4 minutes until soft but not quite cooked and then remove from the heat and put aside for a few minutes (at this stage you might as well leave it in the hot water as we are to use it straight away).

Next place the chicken stock, 100ml of the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, sea salt, galangal, coriander roots, birds eye chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, butternut squash and Thai shallots and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the chicken pieces and continue to cook gently for 4-5 minutes until all chicken is cooked and all vegetables have softened with flavours infused.

Finish by adding the rest of the coconut cream and the sweet basil and the dishing out into bowls. Lastly check the seasoning, it should be creamy, salty, a little spicy, aromatic with a fresh hint of lime at the end, adjust if needs be.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

 

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

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Green Curry of Mussels, Monkfish, Wild Ginger, Asian Vegetables and Sweet Basil with Vermicelli Noodles

 

#thaifood #greencurry #londonrestaurants #sebbyholmes

Photo taken by Yavez Anthonio

The last year has been absolutely mental, Farang has gone from having one street food stand in a market in Brook Green (which is literally at the point where I wrote my last Articuleat post) to having a range of street food stands across London, to now having a restaurant in Highbury and a book, ‘Cook Thai’ that has just been released across the country. The time has finally come for Articuleat to begin again, this blog is for all the bits and bobs that are worth a mention, my little corner of the internet for recipes banter and bullshit- welcome to it.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3 / GF)

For the curry

2kg, large mussels, washed, beards and barnacles removed

200g, monkfish, skinned and sliced into 2cm thick chunks

150g, thin rice vermicelli noodles, blanched for 1 minute in boiling salt water and then refreshed under cold running water

20g, baby corn, sliced into thin roll-cuts

20g, white daikon, peeled and sliced into thin roll-cuts and braised in water until softened (about 5 minutes)

3, long red chillies, sliced into roll cuts

3, long green chillies, sliced into roll cuts

10g, green beans, topped and tailed, cut into 2cm long chunks

150g, green curry paste

200ml, fish stock

150ml, coconut oil (crack)

300ml, coconut cream

1 tablespoon wild ginger, grachai, peeled and thinly sliced (regular ginger will work fine)

20g, Thai basil, washed and picked

10g, coriander, washed and picked

2 tablespoons, fish sauce

1 teaspoon palm sugar

1 lime, chopped into cheeks for garnish

½ teaspoon sea salt

For the curry paste (makes around 1kg of paste)

150g, fresh birds eye chillies, stems removed, roasted over a barbecue or in an oven for around 10 minutes until softened and a little smoky

150g, fresh long green chillies, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced, roasted over a barbecue or in an oven for around 10 minutes until softened and a little smoky

250g, banana shallots, peeled, roughly chopped (use Thai shallots if possible)

250g, peeled garlic

100g, peeled lemongrass, topped and tailed, outside shell removed, sliced into small chunks

30g, galingale, peeled and cut into small chunks

20g, coriander roots, cleaned and finely sliced

30g, fresh red turmeric, peeled (watch the hands, this stuff stains)

20g wild ginger, krachai, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon, roasted gapi paste, fermented shrimp paste (leave this out if vegetarian)

1 tablespoon, whole white peppercorns, lightly toasted in dry pan

3 teaspoons, whole coriander seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

2 teaspoons, cumin seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

2 pieces, roughly 2g, mace, lightly roasted in pan

1-2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Method

Firstly make the curry paste. Using a pestle and mortar individually pound up all the fresh ingredients separately until they are combined into one complete paste. For example, start with the lemongrass, as it is tough, chop it into small chunks to make it easier on yourself then pound using a pestle and mortar until all is mixed into one paste. Next pound the galangal, as it is also tough, using the same process, then the chillies, garlic etc. Once all are pounded individually, combine them in the pestle until they are all together as one paste.

Meanwhile toast the spices in a pan. However, bear in mind that these all toast at different rates so start with the coriander seeds, moving constantly, as soon as they start to smoke a little add the mace and cumin. Keep moving these for one more minute and then add the whole white peppercorns and remove from the heat. The heat from the hot spices is enough to toast the white peppercorns, if they remain on the heat they will pop and explode. Once toasted, spice-grind these spices to a fine powder and pound them into your curry paste. Keep pestle and mortaring away until you are left with a slightly moist, slightly coarse paste, with no identifiable chunks of any ingredients, everything should be equally pounded into a paste with no lumps.

Store the paste in an air tight container with cling film acting as a barrier against oxidisation. In a fridge, the paste will last for 2-3 weeks. It will slowly lose flavour over time, the paste turning brown in colour is an obvious sign of oxidisation which will change the flavour. 

Next, heat the coconut oil in a wok, when bubbling, add 200g green curry paste and keep stirring and scraping regularly until paste begins to split like scrambled eggs and darkens slightly. You will also notice that the smell of the ingredients changes from raw, to a fragrant, as all the ingredients cook together as one. At this point add the palm sugar and allow to cook into the paste for one minute until the paste darkens slightly as the sugar caramelises.

Now it’s time to let the curry out. Add all the fish stock and half of the coconut cream, the daikon, green beans and baby corn. Stir to combine and then cover and bring to a simmer, cook out for around five minutes until all vegetables are cooked.

Next drop in the monkfish tails and the mussels and put the lid back on to simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the monkfish is cooked through and the mussels have all opened, discard any that remain closed. At this point the curry would have thickened a little, so finish off the remaining coconut cream and the fish sauce. Lastly, add Thai basil, green and red chilli roll-cuts, fish sauce to taste and wild ginger, fold these ingredients in carefully as you don’t want to destroy the fish, then serve immediately.

Serve the curry in a bowls, place portions of the cooked noodles in the bowls and then serve the loose curry over the top of the noodles. The curry should be thick enough to coat the noodles, rich, creamy, salty, spicy and fishy, the magic is in the balance.

Thanks for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope that you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat well,

Seb

#greencurry #thaifood #londonfood #farang

Photo taken by Yavez Anthonio

 

 

 

Smokey, Spiced Red Curry Sausage, Lime Leaf & Wild Ginger with Gola Curry Dip

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

Did you know that every time a human being is born onto this planet, statistically three sausages are made! Scientists have coined it the ‘three baby sausage ratio’. Now that, is in absolutely no way true (well, I don’t think it is?), but at least I’ve caught your attention now.

This is an absolute banger of a dish, smokey, salty, spicy, sweet and sour, everything a person with a taste for Thai would expect in a meal. Now it’s a pretty lengthy dish to create given that two curry pastes need to be made in order to make the red curry for the sausage and the gola curry for a dip. However I have three reasons that may persuade you to go through the efforts to complete the whole recipe. Firstly, it tastes bloody great, secondly both the red and the gola paste can be kept in the fridge for use in an endless array of other delicious recipes, and lastly if you really can’t be arsed to cook the whole thing but Zeren’s lovely picture is making you want to eat it, just make the sausage and serve with some sweet chilli sauce and herbs, I guarantee you’ll still love it.

There are a couple more optional extras in this dish which you can avoid if you’d like to, as there are simple short cuts (although as you know if you read my blog, I always urge you to try the long way at least once, you can taste the difference). Firstly, I made my own coconut cream to use within the gola curry whilst cooking it out. This obviously takes a little longer than opening a tin, however the difference in taste is phenomenal, if you’ve never tried fresh coconut cream before, think about the difference in taste between a fresh pint of milk and those little sachets you get free in hotel rooms – you get the idea. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t all have the time to make our own coconut cream all the time, but it’s definitely worth having a mess around with.

Just bare in mind that in order to complete this recipe with success its important for you to purchase a heavy, granite pestle and mortar. When making any curry paste, the objective is to combine flavours with brute force. Therefore a heavy weighted pestle and mortar is the fastest way to victory. Trust me, I first brought a wooden one for use at home and I spent entire evenings bashing coriander root until my hands hurt and I swear it just got bigger. Right then lets get started.

Ingredients

(serves around 3/4 people, makes 12-15 sausages)

When weighing ingredients for these curry pastes I use a small cup (this holds roughly 300ml’s of liquid), this makes more than enough paste for this recipe, however its worth making a little more if you’re going to put in the effort to make it properly.

(for the red curry paste)

-5 cups, large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-6 cups, peeled garlic cloves

-6 cups, peeled banana shallots

-5 cups lemongrass, outer sheath’s remove, topped and tailed

-3 cups, peeled galangal

-2 cups, coriander root, cleaned

-1 cup, roasted gapi paste (fermented shrimp)

-45g, white pepper, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, coriander seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, cumin seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for the gola paste)

-1.5 cups,  large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-1/2 cup, cleaned coriander roots

-2.5 cups, peeled banana shallots

-2.5 cups, peeled garlic

-2.5 cups, peeled ginger

-2.5 cups, desiccated coconut

-1 cups, roasted peanuts

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for everything else)

-1kg, smoked pork belly mince, ask a butcher to make it roughly 20% fat, to 80% meat. If you cant get hold of smoked pork belly then just cold smoke it yourself in a closed barbecue. I will make sure to pu up a post explaining a few simple ways to do this over the next few weeks)

-Kaffir lime leaf, jullienned, finely chopped

-200ml, coconut cream

-50ml, vegetable stock

-150g, palm sugar (soft brown sugar will do)

-200ml, fish sauce

-100g, kra chi, wild ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

-a little cooking oil

-a few thai shallots, peeled and thinly sliced for garnish

-a few picked and washed coriander leaves for garnish

-a few semi chopped nuts for garnish

Method

  1. Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard the outer shell. This leaves you with the inner flesh of the coconut which has an inedible skin attached to it. Using a peeler remove this skin to leave you with only the fresh, white coconut flesh. Next put this flesh through a mincer, or grate it and add to the boiling water, combine thoroughly using a stick blender for around 5 minutes. Once combined filter the liquid from the flesh by ringing it out in some muslin, or a cloth. Once separated place the liquid in the fridge and leave to cool. As it cools the cream will separate from the water, the white cream on the top is what you want. Keep the coconut water as it can be used to let out curries and soups. Any leftover coconut cream can be boiled down until it splits (cracks); this can then be used as coconut oil (coconut crack) which we will talk about another time. Once finished take some of the grated coconut left behind and toast on a medium heat in the oven, until golden brown and crunchy.
  2. Secondly, lets get those curry pastes made. As i say the important thing is to have a heavy pestle and mortar. When making a curry paste, begin by pounding each ingredient individually, starting from the toughest, then remove from the pestle to clear way for the next ingredient. After they have all been individually pounded, add them all back into the pestle and pound until it resembles one paste, you may have to do this in a couple of batches so it fits easily into the pestle. pound in the order of dried chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallot, garlic, coriander root, peanuts, coconut, gapi paste, using the salt as an abrasive throughout. This list includes ingredients from both pastes, but do remember to first complete the red paste, then put aside. Then complete the gola paste separately as they are two separate pastes.
  3. right so now we have our cream and pastes, the hard bit is complete, lets make the sausages. In a pan, gently melt 150ml of the fish sauce with 150g of the palm sugar, then put aside to cool. Next In a mixing bowl add the pork mince, fish sauce and palm sugar mix, 400g red curry paste, all the sliced wild ginger (kra chi) and mix well. Once mixed roll into sausage shapes using cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set shape (these can be as thin or fat as you like, its your dinner). once set in shape, poach the sausages in simmering water to a core temperature of around 64 degrees (medium rare), if you don’t like pink pork take it as far as you like, depends how much you trust the quality of the meat. Once these are poached either put them straight on a barbecue or grill and cook the outside until the whole sausage has gone a lovely golden brown colour with some char, or place them in an ice bath to cool quickly, then leave in the fridge for cooking at a later date (they also freeze well).
  4. In the meantime, cook out the gola dipping sauce. This curry is best cooked slow, over around 45 minutes, this way you can add depth and richness to the curry. To begin, pour roughly around 100ml cooking oil into a pan and heat to a medium/high temperature. Once hot add 300g of the gola paste to this oil, this should make a sizzling sounds as it touches the pan as we want to fry the paste. Keep the paste moving with a metal kitchen spoon, being sure to scrape anything that sticks to the bottom off quickly before it goes black. It is correct for this paste to stick a little more that usual as its packed full of peanuts and they are a bit of a bastard to fry. However, if you keep a watchful eye, and regular movement, you will be fine. After around 20 minutes the paste will begin to go a little darker, this is a sign that its ready to add palm sugar. Add the sugar and turn down the heat, keep stirring for around 5 minutes until the sugar is melted and beginning to caramalise, which will make the paste a little darker. Once melted add the remaining fish sauce to the, followed by all the coconut cream and stock, keep the paste simmering on a medium heat for another ten minutes and re-season if you feel it necessary, the gola should taste sweet, salty and mildly hot.
  5. To serve, place the gola in a bowl and top with semi chopped/pounded peanuts, sliced Thai shallots and coriander leaves. Pile sausages up next to sauce (with wooded skewers in if you want to make it finger food) and then eat.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes